Google Book Search Promotion a Usability Mistake?

Jul 3, 2006 • 7:37 am | comments (0) by | Filed Under Other Google Topics

Some people understand that I have this weird obsession with a Big Blue Pineapple Chair (see 29 citations), so when doing a search on [social construct of foster pineapple children] and then being instructed by Google to "Try your search again on Google Book Search," is somewhat a breath of fresh air. That is until you try the search at Google Book Search.

Try it by clicking here and you will notice a message that reads;

Your search - social construct of foster pineapple children - did not match any documents.

The question is, why does Google bother to show that link to "Try your search again on Google Book Search," if there are no results found for particular obscure, but very interesting, queries?

That is the question of a WebmasterWorld thread. The obvious explanation posted in the forum was that it was a speed issue. "If they wanted to only show the link when they know in advance that results are available, they would have to run a simultaneous search on book search prior to actually displaying the link to see if there was results available. That would require additional computational power, because it would basically be performing 2 searches."

But still, poor usability? Would Google argue that a search that leads to no results, even when suggested it would, can encourage a user to fine to his or her query? Anyway, there may be some way of determining placement of the Google Book Search link or not. Hey, AJAX implementation after the search has been performed, place the link on the page later?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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